Posted at: 09/05/2013 11:12 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

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Some Rochester Public Schools Switch to All-Day Kindergarten

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- As the new school year begins, there's a brand new program starting today at some Rochester Public Schools. Harriet Bishop Elementary is one of the schools implementing all-day kindergarten.

Learning the sounds of your ABC's and that "A" is for alligator are all parts of a kindergartner’s day of learning. For those at Harriet Bishop in Rochester, their school day no longer has to end at lunch time.

"He was ready to start kindergarten this year, and the full day is just a benefit for him," said local parent Paul Schad.

Paul Schad has a little boy in kindergarten, and he’s happy the school is offering an all-day program this year.

"They'll have more time to do reading, writing, math and it can be implemented at different times of the day,” said Schad.

The increase in kindergarten enrollment at Harriet Bishop shows many parents have the same ideas. They went from two classrooms to five this year full of all-day kindergartners.

"This is where our kids should be at this age, they should be in school every day and the only reason we haven't gone this way sooner is because of lack of funding,” said Principal Chris Streiff, Harriet Bishop Elementary.

Harriet Bishop is one of four Rochester Public Schools that implemented all-day kindergarten this year, that now makes seven schools district-wide who offer the program.

"Academically, research shows that they will become better readers, and their language acquisition is much greater if they are in school all day," said Streiff.

The extended school day means music, art and physical education can now be a part of these kindergartner's school experience.

"The more we can set them up for success academically, the better off they are going to be in all of their upper grade levels,” said Streiff.

"When it does expand to the Rochester School District, I think it's going to be a positive thing for the district all in all,” said Schad.

Once state funding for all-day kindergarten is available next year, there's hopes the all-day program will become district wide.